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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just finished the Idaho Backcountry Discovery Route on TW200s! My wife and I put down deposits for two TW200s back in January with the intent of riding the IDBDR this summer. We followed the route north to south. The following is our ride report.

Day 1. Bonners Ferry ID to Wallace ID.
Started the day at the Kootenai Valley Motel. Woke up at 5 am unloaded the bikes from the truck (my brother drove the truck back home for us). Fueled up and headed off. Here's a pic from the gas station in Bonners ferry right before we left.
Automotive parking light Tire Wheel Vehicle Sky

My brother snapped a photo of us going down the road.
Tire Sky Vehicle Wheel Automotive lighting

First stop was the lunch peak lookout tower. Views were incredible up here. I was surprised at how low (relatively) in elevation the lookout was. 6306ft.
Tire Wheel Sky Vehicle Automotive tire

Next stop was char falls. We really wanted to take a dip in the water. We were riding the first three days of the BDR during excessive heat warnings in northern Idaho.
Plant community Natural landscape Larch Plant Mountain

Water Plant Natural environment Natural landscape Spring

We finished the day in Wallace ID. Stayed at the Wallace RV park. We were able to secure one of the three cabins the day of for only $45 a night. They had showers bathrooms and potable water. Can't complain about that. Before we went to bed had to snap a pic of my wife riding the TW200 at the center of the universe (look at the sign in the background).
Wheel Land vehicle Tire Sky Car

That's it for day 1.
Day 2 to come soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ROAD TRIP!! :D

You didn't say whether y'all took a dip in the cold water, or not. I do know I would have!! Hope y'all did as well!
Unfortunately we didn't. This was the first day and it was an extended day. Since we started at Bonners ferry we wanted to complete a day and a half of riding on the normal BDR in one day. This day ended up being 153 miles. We hit char falls earlier in the morning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Day 2
Wallace ID to Pierce ID.
This was by far the "start" of our adventures to come. The day began early with a banana in the morning at our cabin in Wallace RV park. Again couldn't recommend the cabins at that place more. The RV camping looked tight, but the cabins were great. Anyways, before the trip I put xring chains on both bikes. Figured after the first day I would adjust as needed. So we started the morning with a little chain adjustment and a banana and we're on our way.

The road out of Wallace to Avery was honestly one of the highlights of the entire trip. I would definitely recommend doing this section in the morning. If it were later in the day I could see some of the allure of this section wearing off, but in the morning the conditions were perfect. It was nothing but smooth gravel road all the way to Avery. Not the type of gravel road that feels like marbles, but the type where you have some confidence maintaining speed into some corners and can enjoy the views. On the way to Avery you climb over a pass next to Wallace and drop down next to the St Joe River. It was gorgeous. There were also tons of huge prehistoric looking cedars in the valley floor that were burned out. When we were riding through it was also slightly foggy from the morning cool air. I cannot overstate this enough. We felt like we were in the Jurassic period. It felt like a dinosaur was going to come walking around any corner. Pictures are below, but don't do it any justice.

Tire Wheel Plant Sky Plant community

Wheel Tire Sky Mountain Plant


After the section with the cedars you end up riding right next to the St Joe River. Through a tight canyon. The BDR gives you two options, ride a two track right down next to the river or ride a little higher and go through multiple old tunnels. We chose the latter. Still amazing scenery. The tunnels were cool. Had to grab a pic of the bikes in the tunnels. I know you can't see anything, but the headlights work well!

Automotive lighting Infrastructure Road surface Asphalt Architecture


At Avery we filled up with fuel. What a cute little town. Apparently the railroad used to run through Avery up until semi recently. Now there are only a few residents year round. The gas station clerk also made us a breakfast burrito. We weren't that hungry, but it was a big day left to Pierce. The gas station burrito was one of the best choices we could have made that day. Little did we know what was in store for us the rest of the day.

I may have mentioned it in the previous post, I don't know and I'm too lazy to check, but the first three days northern Idaho was under excessive heat warnings. The middle of the days, especially lower in elevation were brutally hot. The road out of Avery was nice for a while. We rode next to a creek going up into the mountains. Once you get up pretty high you leave the creek bed and start entering some logging territory. The track was ok, but not the best at this point. Going down the other side, it became kind of sandy in the corners and very twisty. This kept us on our toes and also reduced our moving speed dramatically. This coupled with the heat building for the day meant we were sweating and craving more of the open roads with some speed. Then as we kept moving the track became progressively worse. It started becoming very rocky with no good lines. I ended up losing a tube I had strapped to the back of my bike. Since I was riding in the rear I had to backtrack to go find it. Luckily it wasn't too far. The roughness of the track started to not be fun anymore just about the time we got to the blue cabin. Sorry I missed out on the picture of the outside of the cabin, but I have some of the inside. I don't know who owns this, but apparently it is a free place for travellers to stay. It is popular on the BDR. No fee required. Just signs saying please leave it cleaner than you found it.

Blue Wood Interior design Window Flooring


As we continued on from the blue cabin the track became much nicer, but remained extremely twisty. It was nice not dealing with the rocks, but all we wanted was some speed to cool off. It was not in the cards. The twisty road continued for what seemed like forever around Dworshak reservoir. To make matters worse we kept descending in elevation. I know I am sounding negative here. The scenery was great, not the best of the trip, but it was still good. But the heat was unbearable. Especially not being able to maintain any sort of speed. Below is a pic of my wife going over grandad bridge as well as us stopping at the reservoir for a break. We ate some tuna packets for a little protein and continued on our way.

Sky Mountain Slope Road surface Natural landscape

Water Sky Water resources Mountain Plant


From Dworshak reservoir the road finally opens up. You start climbing in elevation which cools down as well as picking up some speed. This was some welcome relief. The rest of the track to Pierce has you cross through some logging areas. This section does not stick out in my mind as being spectacular. Just riding through the woods to get to Pierce. When we arrived in Pierce it was time for some fuel and some food. I feel like we ate our food like some rabid dogs. This would be a consistent thing throughout our trip. Each time we get to civilization we stop, get gas, eat food and don't talk to each other at all because we are so busy stuffing our faces haha. My wife was pretty worn out at this point. I couldn't blame her. It has been a big day, but little did we know it was about to become a lot bigger.

We decided that maybe we should ride a few miles down the road on day 3's section and find a place to camp. We ended up finding a place about 20 miles down the road. Most of those 20 miles was pavement so it wasn't too bad. We ended up camping at a place on the topo maps called hemlock ridge. This will forever be remembered as one of the worst places we have ever camped in our lives. We are big into the outdoors. We camp a ton every year. Even into the winter we camp. Have I said we camp a lot? Ok. You get it. We camp. But to say this was the worst night of camping in my life is no understatement. And you'll get it on the next post.... Day 3 to come "soon". Haha I will be better about posting this time. Here's a pic of camp to finish.

Plant Cloud Tent Sky Nature
 

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Day 2
Wallace ID to Pierce ID.
This was by far the "start" of our adventures to come. The day began early with a banana in the morning at our cabin in Wallace RV park. Again couldn't recommend the cabins at that place more. The RV camping looked tight, but the cabins were great. Anyways, before the trip I put xring chains on both bikes. Figured after the first day I would adjust as needed. So we started the morning with a little chain adjustment and a banana and we're on our way.

The road out of Wallace to Avery was honestly one of the highlights of the entire trip. I would definitely recommend doing this section in the morning. If it were later in the day I could see some of the allure of this section wearing off, but in the morning the conditions were perfect. It was nothing but smooth gravel road all the way to Avery. Not the type of gravel road that feels like marbles, but the type where you have some confidence maintaining speed into some corners and can enjoy the views. On the way to Avery you climb over a pass next to Wallace and drop down next to the St Joe River. It was gorgeous. There were also tons of huge prehistoric looking cedars in the valley floor that were burned out. When we were riding through it was also slightly foggy from the morning cool air. I cannot overstate this enough. We felt like we were in the Jurassic period. It felt like a dinosaur was going to come walking around any corner. Pictures are below, but don't do it any justice.

View attachment 228797
View attachment 228796

After the section with the cedars you end up riding right next to the St Joe River. Through a tight canyon. The BDR gives you two options, ride a two track right down next to the river or ride a little higher and go through multiple old tunnels. We chose the latter. Still amazing scenery. The tunnels were cool. Had to grab a pic of the bikes in the tunnels. I know you can't see anything, but the headlights work well!

View attachment 228798

At Avery we filled up with fuel. What a cute little town. Apparently the railroad used to run through Avery up until semi recently. Now there are only a few residents year round. The gas station clerk also made us a breakfast burrito. We weren't that hungry, but it was a big day left to Pierce. The gas station burrito was one of the best choices we could have made that day. Little did we know what was in store for us the rest of the day.

I may have mentioned it in the previous post, I don't know and I'm too lazy to check, but the first three days northern Idaho was under excessive heat warnings. The middle of the days, especially lower in elevation were brutally hot. The road out of Avery was nice for a while. We rode next to a creek going up into the mountains. Once you get up pretty high you leave the creek bed and start entering some logging territory. The track was ok, but not the best at this point. Going down the other side, it became kind of sandy in the corners and very twisty. This kept us on our toes and also reduced our moving speed dramatically. This coupled with the heat building for the day meant we were sweating and craving more of the open roads with some speed. Then as we kept moving the track became progressively worse. It started becoming very rocky with no good lines. I ended up losing a tube I had strapped to the back of my bike. Since I was riding in the rear I had to backtrack to go find it. Luckily it wasn't too far. The roughness of the track started to not be fun anymore just about the time we got to the blue cabin. Sorry I missed out on the picture of the outside of the cabin, but I have some of the inside. I don't know who owns this, but apparently it is a free place for travellers to stay. It is popular on the BDR. No fee required. Just signs saying please leave it cleaner than you found it.

View attachment 228799

As we continued on from the blue cabin the track became much nicer, but remained extremely twisty. It was nice not dealing with the rocks, but all we wanted was some speed to cool off. It was not in the cards. The twisty road continued for what seemed like forever around Dworshak reservoir. To make matters worse we kept descending in elevation. I know I am sounding negative here. The scenery was great, not the best of the trip, but it was still good. But the heat was unbearable. Especially not being able to maintain any sort of speed. Below is a pic of my wife going over grandad bridge as well as us stopping at the reservoir for a break. We ate some tuna packets for a little protein and continued on our way.

View attachment 228800
View attachment 228801

From Dworshak reservoir the road finally opens up. You start climbing in elevation which cools down as well as picking up some speed. This was some welcome relief. The rest of the track to Pierce has you cross through some logging areas. This section does not stick out in my mind as being spectacular. Just riding through the woods to get to Pierce. When we arrived in Pierce it was time for some fuel and some food. I feel like we ate our food like some rabid dogs. This would be a consistent thing throughout our trip. Each time we get to civilization we stop, get gas, eat food and don't talk to each other at all because we are so busy stuffing our faces haha. My wife was pretty worn out at this point. I couldn't blame her. It has been a big day, but little did we know it was about to become a lot bigger.

We decided that maybe we should ride a few miles down the road on day 3's section and find a place to camp. We ended up finding a place about 20 miles down the road. Most of those 20 miles was pavement so it wasn't too bad. We ended up camping at a place on the topo maps called hemlock ridge. This will forever be remembered as one of the worst places we have ever camped in our lives. We are big into the outdoors. We camp a ton every year. Even into the winter we camp. Have I said we camp a lot? Ok. You get it. We camp. But to say this was the worst night of camping in my life is no understatement. And you'll get it on the next post.... Day 3 to come "soon". Haha I will be better about posting this time. Here's a pic of camp to finish.

View attachment 228803
Going over Moon Pass and through the old train tunnels from Wallace to Avery is really easy and scenic. I know the BDR doesn't go to St. Maries (other than for the early BDR riders who run into snow around the Blue Cabin) but it's a fun ride if you're ever back in the area. As is going the other direction out of Avery towards Montana. As an alternate, alternate to Moon Pass is an older FS rd (more of a trail nowadays) called Slate Creek rd. It's much rougher than the main BDR but has a rough climb out of Wallace. We're more drawn to the Slate Creek-type roads but from the sound of it, you two would not have enjoyed this trail. And going on the smooth FS road through the tunnels is well worth it.
P.S. My wife and I were really looking forward to Grandad Bridge and were really let down by the "moderness" of it. As I recall it was pretty warm the day we were there but not nearly as hot as it was on your trip.
 

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Dayum!! Great write up and pics!! Until you left us hanging in suspense.....now having to wait! :)

Now tell me......you say it was brutally hot. You didn't mention it, but I'll ask......did ya'll take a dip there in the Dworshak reservoir? It looks dippable to me. 😁
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Going over Moon Pass and through the old train tunnels from Wallace to Avery is really easy and scenic. I know the BDR doesn't go to St. Maries (other than for the early BDR riders who run into snow around the Blue Cabin) but it's a fun ride if you're ever back in the area. As is going the other direction out of Avery towards Montana. As an alternate, alternate to Moon Pass is an older FS rd (more of a trail nowadays) called Slate Creek rd. It's much rougher than the main BDR but has a rough climb out of Wallace. We're more drawn to the Slate Creek-type roads but from the sound of it, you two would not have enjoyed this trail. And going on the smooth FS road through the tunnels is well worth it.
P.S. My wife and I were really looking forward to Grandad Bridge and were really let down by the "moderness" of it. As I recall it was pretty warm the day we were there but not nearly as hot as it was on your trip.
I am down for the rougher trails. In fact I thoroughly enjoy the extremely technical singletrack Idaho has to offer. I just typically enjoy it on my KTM 500. Not saying the TW isn't capable. I was also expecting the grandad bridge to be more I don't know rustic. It is kind of weird because it's in the middle of nowhere. I would have expected a less grand... Grandad bridge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Dayum!! Great write up and pics!! Until you left us hanging in suspense.....now having to wait! :)

Now tell me......you say it was brutally hot. You didn't mention it, but I'll ask......did ya'll take a dip there in the Dworshak reservoir? It looks dippable to me. 😁
Sorry for leaving you in suspense. I pinky promise you'll have a day 3 to read tomorrow. Unfortunately we didn't take a dip. On a 0-10 scale of being dippable I would give it a 4. The picture of the reservoir was taken at the Dworshak reservoir grandad campground. What you can't see is the water is pretty murky where the picture was taken and it stunk of dead fish. We weren't desperate enough yet for a dip in the water. Had the conditions been more favorable then definitely we would have cooled off.
 

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I was going to unload all of my gear from the bikes this weekend and give them a good wash. Anyone interested in the gear we took with us and our packing methods? If so I'll snap a bunch of pics as I unload them and lay everything out.
Yes, please do. This past weekend 3 of us did a mini-moto camping ride and I'd like to see your setups compared to the setups we used. This was my first ever actual moto camping ride so still in the learning phase. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well here goes as I promised...

Day 3 almost
Hemlock Ridge

Let's resume our camping story on hemlock ridge about 20 or so miles east of Pierce ID. If any of you gents want to visit this hell hole I have included the GPS coordinates of it (46.48363, -115.66023). So let me build up the atmosphere to where we left off. We just got done with a big day of riding when we arrived in Pierce. As soon as we arrived we filled up with gas and ate at the local restaurant. Food was good, but nothing spectacular. We sat there shoving it into our faces like rabid dogs as usual and filled up our water bottles. Then we were off. We had decided earlier in the day that since day 3 was going to be one of our biggest days we wanted to get a headstart on it. We decided to ride a little of the day 3 track and find a decent camping spot. Now had we done our research before riding the BDR we would have known that only a little ways down from where we camped was an actual campground, and also only a bit further was a campground with a nice lake as well. But since we were unprepared we happened upon hemlock ridge. At first sight this was a decent place to pull off the main road and just set up a quick tent and get some relaxation and sleep in for the big day 3 tomorrow.

We started by taking our gear off as it was still fairly hot outside (this was somewhere around 6-7pm). Then the flies came out from the forest. Tons. Of. Flies. All of them giant tyrannosaurus prehistoric Jurassic period horseflies. These things ambushed us. Here we are with no gear on getting bit by these giant relentless flies while also desperately trying to put up our tent. I have never been attacked by flies like this before. At one point my wife was screaming running around with a towel flipping it everywhere from being bit. You've got to realize we had no good options here. The bikes are already parked, our gear is off, and the luggage is half tore apart because we have the tent and sleeping pads and sleeping bags out. So we quickly get half the poles into the tent and I tell her to get into the tent to protect herself from the flies. I then go back to my motorcycle and put all of my gear back on since it is heavy and thick and the flies can't bite through it. So now while she is protected inside the tent I am walking around in the heat in my full gear finishing setting up the tent and camp, being absolutely swarmed by these flies with sweat just dripping because of the heat and the gear I am wearing. Also while I am setting up the tent I am handing her the sleeping pads and the sleeping bags so she can set them up inside of the safety net of the tent. After she gets the pads blown up and the bags set out I place each of our toiletries and clothes bags next to each of our doors on the tent. I quickly get out of my gear and jump in the tent. Now that we are in our safety net of the tent the flies are swarming the tent. I kept thinking to attract all of these things man we must smell so bad. I stripped down to my underwear inside of the tent because I was covered in sweat. For the next few hours if there was something near the motorcycles we needed we just decided it had to wait until the flies chill out. If we needed something from our toiletries bag we unzipped the tent ever so slightly and brought half of the drybag into the tent like an airlock to get things out of it. Fast-forward to like 9-10pm. Time for bed. The flies have finally calmed down and we can now safely journey outside the tent. After getting everything sorted that we just kind of left looking like a bomb went off because of the flies, we then settled in for the night.

Cue the quietest place I have ever camped. Which is weird, because we are on a ridge. I was expecting some sort of noise like wind or something. Now I do have to admit I am sometimes a nervous about sounds in the woods. That being said we camp all the time and it usually doesn't bother me. Hemlock ridge was different. We both drifted off to sleep only to be awoken an hour or two later to a sound that can only be described as a person sprinting right next to our tent in the middle of the dark. It was a weird gait. Did not sound like hooves. And it sounded like whatever it was was sprinting full speed. It woke both of us up from a dead sleep. I immediately got the flashlight and the gun out and was peering out of the tent. We could not see a thing. I then got out of the tent and was looking around and shouting only to be left with absolute silence. Now fully spooked I get back into the tent. Her and I are now complaining about how we managed to pick the worst campsite ever after a big day of riding and coincidentally the night before the biggest day of the trip. After some time of nothing but silence we settle down and drift asleep. And a couple hours go by. Wywywydhdjeubdjcienbtjdjbrjsjs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (This is my best interpretation) The screaming sound of a dying animal wakes us up from a dead sleep! This thing is screaming at the top of it's lungs. It is so close too! Bam I grab the gun and the light and look out the tent and it goes dead quiet. I then start cussing and unzip the tent. I get out, stand up, and start yelling and the animal starts screaming again. It is running away at this point as the screaming is getting quieter and quieter until we don't hear it anymore. I still don't know what animal makes that noise. It was the oddest animal noise I have ever heard. Here we are again fully freaked out, fly bitten, and so tired, but we cannot sleep due to camping in the worst spot in Idaho. The rest of the night (3 hours or so) we got marginal sleep at best. We woke up at 530 that morning to get packed up and start our ride to Hamilton. I'll spare you the details as I have been going on long enough as it is, but needless to say the flies in hemlock ridge operate on a different time schedule. By the time we were leaving we were getting ambushed again. I'll pick this thread up on the actual riding on day three here in a few hours when I have access to my photos.
 

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Well here goes as I promised...

Day 3 almost
Hemlock Ridge

Let's resume our camping story on hemlock ridge about 20 or so miles east of Pierce ID. If any of you gents want to visit this hell hole I have included the GPS coordinates of it (46.48363, -115.66023). So let me build up the atmosphere to where we left off. We just got done with a big day of riding when we arrived in Pierce. As soon as we arrived we filled up with gas and ate at the local restaurant. Food was good, but nothing spectacular. We sat there shoving it into our faces like rabid dogs as usual and filled up our water bottles. Then we were off. We had decided earlier in the day that since day 3 was going to be one of our biggest days we wanted to get a headstart on it. We decided to ride a little of the day 3 track and find a decent camping spot. Now had we done our research before riding the BDR we would have known that only a little ways down from where we camped was an actual campground, and also only a bit further was a campground with a nice lake as well. But since we were unprepared we happened upon hemlock ridge. At first sight this was a decent place to pull off the main road and just set up a quick tent and get some relaxation and sleep in for the big day 3 tomorrow.

We started by taking our gear off as it was still fairly hot outside (this was somewhere around 6-7pm). Then the flies came out from the forest. Tons. Of. Flies. All of them giant tyrannosaurus prehistoric Jurassic period horseflies. These things ambushed us. Here we are with no gear on getting bit by these giant relentless flies while also desperately trying to put up our tent. I have never been attacked by flies like this before. At one point my wife was screaming running around with a towel flipping it everywhere from being bit. You've got to realize we had no good options here. The bikes are already parked, our gear is off, and the luggage is half tore apart because we have the tent and sleeping pads and sleeping bags out. So we quickly get half the poles into the tent and I tell her to get into the tent to protect herself from the flies. I then go back to my motorcycle and put all of my gear back on since it is heavy and thick and the flies can't bite through it. So now while she is protected inside the tent I am walking around in the heat in my full gear finishing setting up the tent and camp, being absolutely swarmed by these flies with sweat just dripping because of the heat and the gear I am wearing. Also while I am setting up the tent I am handing her the sleeping pads and the sleeping bags so she can set them up inside of the safety net of the tent. After she gets the pads blown up and the bags set out I place each of our toiletries and clothes bags next to each of our doors on the tent. I quickly get out of my gear and jump in the tent. Now that we are in our safety net of the tent the flies are swarming the tent. I kept thinking to attract all of these things man we must smell so bad. I stripped down to my underwear inside of the tent because I was covered in sweat. For the next few hours if there was something near the motorcycles we needed we just decided it had to wait until the flies chill out. If we needed something from our toiletries bag we unzipped the tent ever so slightly and brought half of the drybag into the tent like an airlock to get things out of it. Fast-forward to like 9-10pm. Time for bed. The flies have finally calmed down and we can now safely journey outside the tent. After getting everything sorted that we just kind of left looking like a bomb went off because of the flies, we then settled in for the night.

Cue the quietest place I have ever camped. Which is weird, because we are on a ridge. I was expecting some sort of noise like wind or something. Now I do have to admit I am sometimes a nervous about sounds in the woods. That being said we camp all the time and it usually doesn't bother me. Hemlock ridge was different. We both drifted off to sleep only to be awoken an hour or two later to a sound that can only be described as a person sprinting right next to our tent in the middle of the dark. It was a weird gait. Did not sound like hooves. And it sounded like whatever it was was sprinting full speed. It woke both of us up from a dead sleep. I immediately got the flashlight and the gun out and was peering out of the tent. We could not see a thing. I then got out of the tent and was looking around and shouting only to be left with absolute silence. Now fully spooked I get back into the tent. Her and I are now complaining about how we managed to pick the worst campsite ever after a big day of riding and coincidentally the night before the biggest day of the trip. After some time of nothing but silence we settle down and drift asleep. And a couple hours go by. Wywywydhdjeubdjcienbtjdjbrjsjs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (This is my best interpretation) The screaming sound of a dying animal wakes us up from a dead sleep! This thing is screaming at the top of it's lungs. It is so close too! Bam I grab the gun and the light and look out the tent and it goes dead quiet. I then start cussing and unzip the tent. I get out, stand up, and start yelling and the animal starts screaming again. It is running away at this point as the screaming is getting quieter and quieter until we don't hear it anymore. I still don't know what animal makes that noise. It was the oddest animal noise I have ever heard. Here we are again fully freaked out, fly bitten, and so tired, but we cannot sleep due to camping in the worst spot in Idaho. The rest of the night (3 hours or so) we got marginal sleep at best. We woke up at 530 that morning to get packed up and start our ride to Hamilton. I'll spare you the details as I have been going on long enough as it is, but needless to say the flies in hemlock ridge operate on a different time schedule. By the time we were leaving we were getting ambushed again. I'll pick this thread up on the actual riding on day three here in a few hours when I have access to my photos.
I itch just reading about the miserable fly attack! Your wife is a trooper! Excellent write-up. More! More! More!!
 

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Well here goes as I promised...

Day 3 almost
Hemlock Ridge

Let's resume our camping story on hemlock ridge about 20 or so miles east of Pierce ID. If any of you gents want to visit this hell hole I have included the GPS coordinates of it (46.48363, -115.66023). So let me build up the atmosphere to where we left off. We just got done with a big day of riding when we arrived in Pierce. As soon as we arrived we filled up with gas and ate at the local restaurant. Food was good, but nothing spectacular. We sat there shoving it into our faces like rabid dogs as usual and filled up our water bottles. Then we were off. We had decided earlier in the day that since day 3 was going to be one of our biggest days we wanted to get a headstart on it. We decided to ride a little of the day 3 track and find a decent camping spot. Now had we done our research before riding the BDR we would have known that only a little ways down from where we camped was an actual campground, and also only a bit further was a campground with a nice lake as well. But since we were unprepared we happened upon hemlock ridge. At first sight this was a decent place to pull off the main road and just set up a quick tent and get some relaxation and sleep in for the big day 3 tomorrow.

We started by taking our gear off as it was still fairly hot outside (this was somewhere around 6-7pm). Then the flies came out from the forest. Tons. Of. Flies. All of them giant tyrannosaurus prehistoric Jurassic period horseflies. These things ambushed us. Here we are with no gear on getting bit by these giant relentless flies while also desperately trying to put up our tent. I have never been attacked by flies like this before. At one point my wife was screaming running around with a towel flipping it everywhere from being bit. You've got to realize we had no good options here. The bikes are already parked, our gear is off, and the luggage is half tore apart because we have the tent and sleeping pads and sleeping bags out. So we quickly get half the poles into the tent and I tell her to get into the tent to protect herself from the flies. I then go back to my motorcycle and put all of my gear back on since it is heavy and thick and the flies can't bite through it. So now while she is protected inside the tent I am walking around in the heat in my full gear finishing setting up the tent and camp, being absolutely swarmed by these flies with sweat just dripping because of the heat and the gear I am wearing. Also while I am setting up the tent I am handing her the sleeping pads and the sleeping bags so she can set them up inside of the safety net of the tent. After she gets the pads blown up and the bags set out I place each of our toiletries and clothes bags next to each of our doors on the tent. I quickly get out of my gear and jump in the tent. Now that we are in our safety net of the tent the flies are swarming the tent. I kept thinking to attract all of these things man we must smell so bad. I stripped down to my underwear inside of the tent because I was covered in sweat. For the next few hours if there was something near the motorcycles we needed we just decided it had to wait until the flies chill out. If we needed something from our toiletries bag we unzipped the tent ever so slightly and brought half of the drybag into the tent like an airlock to get things out of it. Fast-forward to like 9-10pm. Time for bed. The flies have finally calmed down and we can now safely journey outside the tent. After getting everything sorted that we just kind of left looking like a bomb went off because of the flies, we then settled in for the night.

Cue the quietest place I have ever camped. Which is weird, because we are on a ridge. I was expecting some sort of noise like wind or something. Now I do have to admit I am sometimes a nervous about sounds in the woods. That being said we camp all the time and it usually doesn't bother me. Hemlock ridge was different. We both drifted off to sleep only to be awoken an hour or two later to a sound that can only be described as a person sprinting right next to our tent in the middle of the dark. It was a weird gait. Did not sound like hooves. And it sounded like whatever it was was sprinting full speed. It woke both of us up from a dead sleep. I immediately got the flashlight and the gun out and was peering out of the tent. We could not see a thing. I then got out of the tent and was looking around and shouting only to be left with absolute silence. Now fully spooked I get back into the tent. Her and I are now complaining about how we managed to pick the worst campsite ever after a big day of riding and coincidentally the night before the biggest day of the trip. After some time of nothing but silence we settle down and drift asleep. And a couple hours go by. Wywywydhdjeubdjcienbtjdjbrjsjs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (This is my best interpretation) The screaming sound of a dying animal wakes us up from a dead sleep! This thing is screaming at the top of it's lungs. It is so close too! Bam I grab the gun and the light and look out the tent and it goes dead quiet. I then start cussing and unzip the tent. I get out, stand up, and start yelling and the animal starts screaming again. It is running away at this point as the screaming is getting quieter and quieter until we don't hear it anymore. I still don't know what animal makes that noise. It was the oddest animal noise I have ever heard. Here we are again fully freaked out, fly bitten, and so tired, but we cannot sleep due to camping in the worst spot in Idaho. The rest of the night (3 hours or so) we got marginal sleep at best. We woke up at 530 that morning to get packed up and start our ride to Hamilton. I'll spare you the details as I have been going on long enough as it is, but needless to say the flies in hemlock ridge operate on a different time schedule. By the time we were leaving we were getting ambushed again. I'll pick this thread up on the actual riding on day three here in a few hours when I have access to my photos.
Hope you don't take this the wrong way, but I'm not sure whether I want to laugh, or cry! :LOL: Okay, guess I just answered that. I think it's just your story telling, and me picturing it.

That noise sprinting by your tent. Maybe it was Sasquatch being chased by those prehistoric dinoflies!?!?
 

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Day 3 For Real
Hemlock Ridge ID to Hamilton MT

One quick thing before we move on to the riding. Here is a pic that I took at hemlock ridge from inside the tent. You can see that our gear is haphazardly placed on our bikes. We even had time to set up our small chairs (on the right edge of the photo) just before the flies started coming in like crazy. This is where we sat for a few hours while we waited for the flies to calm down. Sorry its kind of blurry, but i took the photo through the mesh of the tent.
Tire Wheel Plant Sky Automotive tire


Alright now that I have hemlock ridge out of the way lets fill you guys in the actual riding of the day. So the day started early leaving hemlock ridge. This day of the BDR had us following the Lolo motorway which is an older Indian and Lewis and Clark route that winds along ridges above the Lochsa River. The day started on some great track. We immediately passed a sign (about a mile down the road) for an actual campground, but with our spirits high from leaving hemlock ridge we didn't feel too down. The first part of this day the track was great. It was cool in the mornings (this was our 3rd and last day of excessive heat warnings) so we were in good spirits. The route along the motorway has you winding along ridgetops for a little while before swapping between different hillsides. The track was smooth dirt that you could really open up on and the scenery was amazing. This was the north(ish) Idaho I had envisioned. Not to say that the first two days felt like northern Idaho, but for some reason this day really had the views to go with it. We were greeted with views like this all morning.
Sky Plant Tire Wheel Plant community


It was interesting moving between the burned areas with the new growth and the older forests. There was a lot of variety this morning and we were on cloud 9 riding it. All along the historic route they have signs detailing the history of the Indians and the Lewis and Clark expedition. These signs were extremely interesting to read. A little ways down the track is a lake called Rocky Ridge Lake with a campground as well. If I were to ride this again, this is where I would plan on stopping for camping if feasible.
Water Sky Plant Cloud Natural landscape


We continued to climb higher along the ridgetops heading east and the views just kept coming. One of the interesting spots about 3/4 the way through the Lolo motorway is the Indian post office. Apparently this is where the Indians would leave notes to each other as they were passing along the trail to their hunting grounds in Montana. It was so cool to see original history like this. The post office had the coolest view of any post office I have ever been to...
Cloud Sky Plant Mountain Plant community


It was at this point that the trail had started to become a little bit rougher. We would later find out this section of the trail proved to be difficult for a lot of people. But since we were riding TW200s it proved to be just a small inconvenience. The track became very rocky with large loose rocks that would move out from underneath you as you rolled over them. My wife did have a few slow moving tip overs in this area, but it was nothing serious. We would later learn of 3 people that had serious problems on this bit of track. There was a broken thumb, broken ankle, and broken ribs to be had by other folks travelling on the motorway on their loaded up adventure bikes. Not saying that it can't happen to anyone, but it does help to be on a small, short geared, trail machine when riding through tougher sections. As we finished up the motorway we rode down to Lochsa Lodge for a bite to eat. I snapped a pic of the bikes and how dusty they were. Compare this pic to the pic in my first post!

Wheel Tire Automotive parking light Land vehicle Car


But honestly I have no complaints about the little TWs. They took on every challenge we gave them up to this point with no problems. Sure they aren't the fastest bike in this world, but who wants to be racing on the backcountry discovery route. It may also be worth mentioning that people LOVE this motorcycle. Everyone I met on the trail was so pumped we were doing the IDBDR on TW200s! In fact in that first photo of our clean bikes at the gas station, before we even left there was already someone asking to take a picture of the bikes. This would continue throughout the trip. Now that I have said all of the praise for these machines, let me talk about their one weakness. Highway.

After Lochsa lodge we left and got on highway 12 towards Lolo MT. I'll be honest, the TWs weren't great at this. But that being said, I have scoured these forums before buying these bikes and they weren't as bad as I have seen other people mentioning they are. I mean they will do 55, and that is what we did all the way down to Hamilton MT. This stretch ended up being ~ 90 miles since we had to stop in Missoula for a new water bladder for my camelback. Mine was several years old and began leaking at the seams as we were on the Lolo motorway. Once we got to Hamilton we had a hotel night! This proved to be amazing since we were able to wash our clothes as well as get some much needed rest for the next day.

So let me end with this. If you are hesitant about doing the BDR on TW200s because of their lack of highway capability, I have two suggestions.
1. If you are native to Idaho, or can have someone drop you off and pick you up then do it. These are awesome machines for this ride. To be fair we live in Idaho and the ride back to the house on our ending day is only ~ 150 miles of highway riding. This is easily doable on the TW.
2. If you have to ride a 1000 miles to start the BDR and ride a 1000 miles back and are planning on doing it on the highway, then maybe this isn't the bike for this ride. Not saying it can't be done. If those 1000 miles is mostly dirt, then get it done on the TW.

Thanks everyone for being so supportive of this ride report. It has Mrs. TWoDubs asking me if anyone has responded to our posts. We appreciate reliving these moments, both the highs and the lows!
 

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Day 3 For Real
Hemlock Ridge ID to Hamilton MT

One quick thing before we move on to the riding. Here is a pic that I took at hemlock ridge from inside the tent. You can see that our gear is haphazardly placed on our bikes. We even had time to set up our small chairs (on the right edge of the photo) just before the flies started coming in like crazy. This is where we sat for a few hours while we waited for the flies to calm down. Sorry its kind of blurry, but i took the photo through the mesh of the tent.
View attachment 228855

Alright now that I have hemlock ridge out of the way lets fill you guys in the actual riding of the day. So the day started early leaving hemlock ridge. This day of the BDR had us following the Lolo motorway which is an older Indian and Lewis and Clark route that winds along ridges above the Lochsa River. The day started on some great track. We immediately passed a sign (about a mile down the road) for an actual campground, but with our spirits high from leaving hemlock ridge we didn't feel too down. The first part of this day the track was great. It was cool in the mornings (this was our 3rd and last day of excessive heat warnings) so we were in good spirits. The route along the motorway has you winding along ridgetops for a little while before swapping between different hillsides. The track was smooth dirt that you could really open up on and the scenery was amazing. This was the north(ish) Idaho I had envisioned. Not to say that the first two days felt like northern Idaho, but for some reason this day really had the views to go with it. We were greeted with views like this all morning.
View attachment 228856

It was interesting moving between the burned areas with the new growth and the older forests. There was a lot of variety this morning and we were on cloud 9 riding it. All along the historic route they have signs detailing the history of the Indians and the Lewis and Clark expedition. These signs were extremely interesting to read. A little ways down the track is a lake called Rocky Ridge Lake with a campground as well. If I were to ride this again, this is where I would plan on stopping for camping if feasible.
View attachment 228858

We continued to climb higher along the ridgetops heading east and the views just kept coming. One of the interesting spots about 3/4 the way through the Lolo motorway is the Indian post office. Apparently this is where the Indians would leave notes to each other as they were passing along the trail to their hunting grounds in Montana. It was so cool to see original history like this. The post office had the coolest view of any post office I have ever been to...
View attachment 228859

It was at this point that the trail had started to become a little bit rougher. We would later find out this section of the trail proved to be difficult for a lot of people. But since we were riding TW200s it proved to be just a small inconvenience. The track became very rocky with large loose rocks that would move out from underneath you as you rolled over them. My wife did have a few slow moving tip overs in this area, but it was nothing serious. We would later learn of 3 people that had serious problems on this bit of track. There was a broken thumb, broken ankle, and broken ribs to be had by other folks travelling on the motorway on their loaded up adventure bikes. Not saying that it can't happen to anyone, but it does help to be on a small, short geared, trail machine when riding through tougher sections. As we finished up the motorway we rode down to Lochsa Lodge for a bite to eat. I snapped a pic of the bikes and how dusty they were. Compare this pic to the pic in my first post!

View attachment 228861

But honestly I have no complaints about the little TWs. They took on every challenge we gave them up to this point with no problems. Sure they aren't the fastest bike in this world, but who wants to be racing on the backcountry discovery route. It may also be worth mentioning that people LOVE this motorcycle. Everyone I met on the trail was so pumped we were doing the IDBDR on TW200s! In fact in that first photo of our clean bikes at the gas station, before we even left there was already someone asking to take a picture of the bikes. This would continue throughout the trip. Now that I have said all of the praise for these machines, let me talk about their one weakness. Highway.

After Lochsa lodge we left and got on highway 12 towards Lolo MT. I'll be honest, the TWs weren't great at this. But that being said, I have scoured these forums before buying these bikes and they weren't as bad as I have seen other people mentioning they are. I mean they will do 55, and that is what we did all the way down to Hamilton MT. This stretch ended up being ~ 90 miles since we had to stop in Missoula for a new water bladder for my camelback. Mine was several years old and began leaking at the seams as we were on the Lolo motorway. Once we got to Hamilton we had a hotel night! This proved to be amazing since we were able to wash our clothes as well as get some much needed rest for the next day.

So let me end with this. If you are hesitant about doing the BDR on TW200s because of their lack of highway capability, I have two suggestions.
1. If you are native to Idaho, or can have someone drop you off and pick you up then do it. These are awesome machines for this ride. To be fair we live in Idaho and the ride back to the house on our ending day is only ~ 150 miles of highway riding. This is easily doable on the TW.
2. If you have to ride a 1000 miles to start the BDR and ride a 1000 miles back and are planning on doing it on the highway, then maybe this isn't the bike for this ride. Not saying it can't be done. If those 1000 miles is mostly dirt, then get it done on the TW.

Thanks everyone for being so supportive of this ride report. It has Mrs. TWoDubs asking me if anyone has responded to our posts. We appreciate reliving these moments, both the highs and the lows!
Thank you for taking the time to share your (mis)adventure with us. I very much enjoyed the photos too.
Well done!
 
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